Review: This is Where It Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp


This is Where It Ends
by  

Edition: 2016
Pages: 292
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire




Summary:
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Rating: 3/5

Review: 
I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review. I tried not to give much spoilers but you probably will find some hints on it. If you not feel comfortable, please read the book first and come later to share your opinion with us!

Marieke Nikamp is well knowed as an advocate of diverse books on young adult literature, being the founder of Diversif YA and a team member of online campaign We Need More Diverse Books. Why am I telling you this? Because "This is Where It Ends" would not be her book if not reflected some of her personal views. As a defender of inclusion and diversity I enjoyed this refreshing composition a lot as it allowed many different characters with various backgrounds, which created a genuine dynamic of what the student's frequency at a typical high school would be. 
Fortunately my reality as a teenager and a student was completely different and far from the United States' school reality. I've never been through metal security checks, looker's searches or the fear of being shoot. Not that it can't happen in any place in the world, but our reality is a little bit more peaceful and secure. For that reason, I was not raised with this "ghost" of school insecurity and never had to look over my shoulder to look for threats. Because of this differences, as I immersed myself in this book I was confront with realities and also cultures that I'd never experienced. Even so everybody can put themselves in the position of fearing for their lives and their love ones. 
In "This is Where it Ends" the presence of fear was palpable in every page, as well as the doubt, the comfort and the confront between characters and the dubious incertitude of surviving or dying. Many times when there are shootings in schools and colleges there is always the questioning of "why". Why would the shooter do that, why would some youngster - most of the times known as calm and quiet too - do such a thing?
In this book however we have a glimpse for the other side. We are simultaneously with the victims and the assassin, we are always looking at the scene from different perspectives. All the aspects that are promised in the synopsis were there.
There was always an aura of mystery, not only for the reasons why the shooting is happening but also from the relationships between the characters, all messy and unresolved. 
Nevertheless, I think at some point the personal dramas of each character was so intense and heavy to deal with that I felt disconnected with the main action and at the middle I felt just tired of being with them and wanted all to be wrapped up and finished. In fact, in so many points of view, there wasn't a single happy soul. It felt like the whole school was melancholic, disrupted and craving for air and light. I know that we don't meet them in an happy moment but all the flashbacks could have given that sense. Even the moments that were supposed to be happy didn't give that feeling to the readers. Although we all know the teenage years are the most messy and sometimes hurtful moments we will live, there is also space for laugh, real friendships and connection with the exterior world. And here I just felt a very cloudy environment that created a foggy relationship between me and the book, not giving space for a little connection with any of the characters.
I was also not a big fan of the twitter and blog posts from the outside that just created noise to the plot even though I understand the goal of the author with this. We are in the Era of technology, so of course there would be mobile phones and connections with the exterior but it didn't help create the effect they were suppose to, which was the fear from the people outside not knowing what happened to their loved ones. 
However, I can't say that the action moments were not presented at the book. It gave me the promised feelings written in the synopsis so I can't say I didn't like the book, but just that there were holes to be filled and that didn't happen. Even so, give it a try and prove me wrong!

Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

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